12/20/2014VATICAN Pope: the most dangerous misery is "the presumption that we can do without God" According to such blind misery, material wealth, the quest for power and pleasure, and the enslavement of others to achieve these goals, are the purpose of existence. Vatican City
(AsiaNews) - As he greeted the Pope John XXIII Community, an Italian
association operating in 34 countries to free enslaved women from prostitution,
Pope Francis said that "the most dangerous misery, which causes all the others,"
is "the distance from God, the presumption that...
12/20/2014IRAQ Chaldean Patriarch: on Christmas, Christian refugees should not feel "abandoned" or "forgotten" by Joseph Mahmoud Ahead of Christmas celebrations, Mar Sako issued a message to the Christian community that fled the Islamic state. Understandably, Christians are "concerned" about the loss of homes and jobs, but they should keep the "hope for a future of "peace and coexistence" alive. His Beatitude calls on the faithful to pray to keep courage alive and expressed gratitude for the help provided so far.
12/20/2014ISRAEL - PALESTINE Gaza: Israel launches airstrike in response to rocket fired from the Gaza Strip This morning Israel's Air Force carried out an airstrike, the first since a truce between Israel and Hamas was brokered last August. No casualties or damages have been reported. An Israeli military spokesman said that the "Hamas terror infrastructure" was hit. Hamas did not claim responsibility for yesterday's rocket.
12/19/2014LEBANON - SYRIA Syrian refugees in Lebanon face new challenge, children "without citizenship or rights" UN agencies and NGOs warn that more and more children born in families fleeing the war are likely to remain stateless. Some 70 per cent of the 42,000 children born in Lebanon to Syrian parents since the outbreak of the conflict have not been registered. However, the figure could be far higher. Poverty and lack of identity papers aggravate the problem.
12/19/2014IRAQ - SYRIA Mount Sinjar, the peshmerga break siege of Islamic State militias The Kurds' most important military victory against the Islamists since the beginning of the war. The fighters have opened a humanitarian corridor to allow the escape of 1,200 families trapped since summer. However Yazidi sources have not confirmed the end of the siege or the positioning of Peshmerga troops. December US airstrikes killed high-ranking military leaders of IS.
12/18/2014VATICAN Pope: God walks with us in history, and when we go wrong he correct history and brings it forward "Making history with his people means for God to walk with us and to test the ones he has chosen". But in the end He saves them: "Let us always remember, with confidence, even in the worst moments, even in times of illness, when we realize we have to ask for the Last Rites because there is no way out, to say: 'Lord, history did not start with me and will not end with me! You go ahead, I am willing to come with you'. And to put ourselves in the hands of the Lord".
12/18/2014SYRIA Syria, over 230 bodies in a mass grave: massacred by Islamic State The carnage took place in August in the village of Kashkiya, in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour. The bodies belong to members of the Sheitat tribe and are the vast majority are not fighters. The tribe leaders did not want to ally with jihadi militias; the revenge of the terrorists caused the death of at least 900 people.
12/17/2014PALESTINE - ISRAEL UN: Palestinians call for an end to Israeli occupation despite threat of US veto by Joshua Lapide Jordan and other Arab countries back Security Council resolution that calls for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and East Jerusalem within two years. A European Court orders the removal of Hamas from a list of terrorist organisations on "technical" grounds. International diplomacy appears to be last path to find a solution.
12/17/2014MIDDLE EAST - ISLAM Secularism, Sunni-Shia divide, and the Islamic state are wiping out Christians from the Middle East by Fady Noun Islam cannot contribute to peace if it does not resolve its internal conflicts and divisions between Sunnis and Shias. The barbarity of the Islamic state has imposed a "deadly" peace. The end of Eastern Christians is a growing possibility. The external threat of Islamic extremism is compounded by secularism and political divisions that are undermining the community from within.
12/17/2014VATICAN Pope: May God "convert the hearts of the violent who do not stop even before children" Prayers "for the victims of inhuman terrorist acts in recent days in Australia, Pakistan and Yemen." Tango dancers, a cake and birthday wishes in all languages for Francis' 78 years. The "meditations" on the family during the general audiences are part of a journey in which the Extraordinary Synod of October" was the first step."
12/16/2014IRAQ - VATICAN As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers by Amel Nona Persecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.